State lawmakers working to crack down on unsolicited, explicit photos
Lawmakers are considering a bill that would crack down on cyber-flashing, unsolicited pictures that often pop up on smartphones.
Real-estate agents are often glued to their phones so they can respond quickly to text messages and emails. And, that's a phenomenon that Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler of Virginia Beach knows well from her day job as a Realtor. That’s how she got an unsolicited, obscene text from a contractor.
"At the time I didn't respond because I was kind of in shock," she explains.
So she tried to do something about it, and she got a bill out of the House last year but it was rejected in the Senate.
“It’s a very scary feeling for a woman because you don’t know where it came from, you don’t know how the person got your number, and you don’t know why you’re seeing what you’re seeing,” says Convirs-Fowler.
Now she's working with Senator Jennifer McClellan of Richmond to figure out a way to make it a civil penalty.
"This bill would make it a civil penalty where you could get an injunction or you could get actual damages or $500, whichever is greater," McClellan says. "I'm confident we will be able to move it forward. But we're got to do something."
The House has already rejected the version Convirs-Folwer introduced. But McClellan is still working the bill on the Senate side.
This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.